2018 Year in Review

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I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of another year.  It seems like as my kids get older that time is speeding up.  We reached some major milestones this year in our family as my oldest turned 16 (and got his driver license!), my second oldest started high school,  and my youngest started first grade and is gone at school all day now.   They continue to keep me busy and my happy place is definitely watching them do the things they love.  This picture kills me and I love that my youngest three and I are all wearing handmades.

I love to look back each year on all that I’ve sewn and reflect on the big winners (and losers) that have come off my sewing machines.  One of my goals this year was to be a little more deliberate in my sewing, to avoid testing things that I didn’t see fitting in with our wardrobes, and to pick fabrics that could hold up to our lifestyle.

This year I sewed 130 garments for my kids and 51 for myself and just a handful for gifts.  Those numbers kind of amaze me.  I’ve cut my sewing time way down, sewing just a couple of days a week and trying not to sew at night or on weekends when the family is all home.  I tend to gravitate to quick knit sews so those numbers are a big reflection of that.  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites from this year and a couple that have already been passed along.

DRESSES

 

I could sew up dresses all day, every day.  They are my favorite thing to make for both me and my girls and I know they’ll get worn.  It’s so nice to look in our closets each Sunday and have so many great choices to pick from.  I’m still not a dress during the week gal so I’ve tried my best to only sew up church appropriate dresses for myself.  Sewing dresses for my girls is so rewarding because I can make them long enough for their long legs!  It’s so great being able to blend sizes, creating dresses that fit like a glove.

Patterns and blog post links clockwise from upper left corner: Waterfall Raglan, Larkspur, Modified Blake Dress, Upton Dress, Fringe Dress, Orchid Midi Dress, Manhattan Dress, and Starlight City Dress

LOUNGEWEAR

Between my little man refusing to wear anything besides knit pants and my affinity to joggers, our everyday clothes tend to focus on comfort.  Luckily I think our comfy clothes don’t sacrifice style.  This winter I’ve made my little man a handful of joggers in my hunt to find the perfect pattern for his long legs and tiny waist.  I’m still searching and it’s a challenge I’m happy to continue on as they whip up in no time.

My most used pattern this year was the free Love Notions Leggings pattern.  My oldest daughter can sew them up herself and we’ve made a dozen between the two of us this year.  They pick tunic and leggings outfits almost everyday and I’m all for it.

I reach for my joggers almost every day as well.  I love that they are so comfy for working around the house but I can also run to the store and not feel grossly under dressed.  Brassie Joggers from Greenstyle have become my go-to jogger pattern.  I love the slim but not tight fit and I don’t get the weird crotch bunching I’ve experienced with other patterns.

Patterns and Blog posts clockwise from top left corner: Movie Night Pj’s, Panama Tee and Brassie Joggers, Brassie Joggers and Green Tee, Samson Sweater and LN Leggins, Sloane Sweater and Leggins, Lexi and Lou Loungers and #121 Ringer Raglan, and Mini Hudson Joggers

SWEATSHIRTS

Living in Utah we have sweater weather a good 9 months of the year.  Sewing hoodies and sweatshirts just make sense and they get worn to death!  Everyone in the family got one this year, including my first sews for my dad and my husband.  Nothing beats a cozy top on a cold snowy day!

Patterns and Blog Posts clockwise from top left corner: Pixie Tee, Metro Pullover, Hudson Hoodie, Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7, Jolly Roger Raglan, Sloane Sweater, Brunswick Pullover, Constance Sweater, North Star Pullover

SWIMSUITS

Swimsuits just might be the most rewarding things to sew.  We all hate trying them on in stores and they rarely ever fit me and my girls.  We’ve got long torsos and modest tastes which makes it super difficult to find suits in ready-to-wear.  This summer I didn’t sew nearly as many as in 2017 but I did manage to sew a few new favorites.

Patterns and Blog Posts: Mama Camila, Calypso, School’s Out Shorts and Jolly Roger RaglanCamila Suit and Catalina Swimsuit, and Linden Shorts

MISSES

You’ll notice most of these misses are for me with the exception of the tie for my cute boy.  Sewing for my kids is so rewarding because there are rarely ever fit issues and I know what types of fabrics they’ll wear.  The tie was more of a pattern issue and was a sad waste of fabric.  I’m super grateful for the cute pictures I got of my handsome kid and that all makes up for the lost time and fabric.

Now on to my misses.  This year was a bit of an awakening for me.  After a long winter of not taking care of myself, I’d slowly gained more weight than I did my last pregnancy.  I felt tired all the time and hated sewing for myself as I had to size up all my favorite patterns.  Taking pictures and seeing the unhappiness show through to the pictures was too much.  In May I finally decided to do something about it and started a simple fitness and counting calories routine.  I feel a hundred times better, my anxiety is easier to handle, and I look forward to sewing for me again.

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These misses all came early in the year.  My Phoenix Blouse sat in my closet unworn until I passed it on to my sister.  I love the pattern and would like to give it another go in a different fabric.  This crepe was super drapey and so difficult to work with that by the time I was finished sewing it I was so angry at it!  I added the Amalfi sleeves and realized that I’m not a huge fan of them.

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The Sonata Dress testing was the wake-up call for me.  I was at my heaviest and this dress just felt so unflattering.  I planned to wear it as a cover-up this summer but didn’t really have the opportunity.  It will come with me on our beach vacation coming up and I’m hopeful it will get worn a bit this coming summer as well.

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The Driftwood Top was simply a matter of poor fabric choice for this pattern.  I love the feel of this fabric but it was far too structured for this boho-feel blouse.  This one never got worn but I do hope to make another version in something lightweight this spring.

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I had high hopes for this eyelet Harmony Top.  I’ve been searching for a great woven tee pattern and the Harmony is pretty close.  I altered the neckline to be more crewneck since I don’t really like scoop necks.  The biggest issue with this particular top is that I made it too big to begin with.  I sewed up a medium but I’m happily back to my Love Notions small.   Since the eyelet is lacking drape, it’s very easy to see that it’s just too large.

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The Joy Jacket is my saddest miss this year.  I absolutely adore this pattern and hope I will have the time to make another one this year.  I felt so accomplished after I finished this one and I marvel at the beauty of it. BUT, my fabric choice makes it so unpractical.  I’ve yet to wear it for fear of getting it dirty.  C’mon, if it’s cold enough for a jacket there’s a pretty good chance it might get dirty.  The fabric is a tad sheer and with the seams being unfinished (it’s lined so you wouldn’t normally see them) I’m scared that a spin in the washer will leave me with shredded edges that will show through.  It looks beautiful hanging in my closet and I will never get rid of it for pure sentimentality but it was a big lesson learned for me.

I had so much fun looking back on this year and reflecting on all that I was able to accomplish.  As I look forward to the new year I’m not sure if I’ll make any goals or join any challenges.  I’m hoping to continue my journey to find what works for my wardrobe and what’s worth my time and effort to sew.  I realize that I don’t have to sew everything and I’m ok with not wearing handmades all the time.  I want to continue to sew for my kids since they are the ones that really struggle finding ready-to-wear clothing that fits.  I’m so excited for a new year full of possibilities!

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Valentine Line

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Raspberry Creek Fabrics introduced their Valentine Line last week and I loved sewing some of it up!  We were lucky enough to meet up with Anna and her darling kiddos for a quick photo shoot to really highlight this collection.  I feel so lucky to have such great sewing friends so close and Anna is so incredibly talented!

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This argyle print is such a classic and was instantly a favorite.  It’s great for the holidays but will also work well year round.  It’s printed on the CLUB grey base which is my absolute fav, especially for boys.

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I sewed up a Greenpoint Cardigan from Hey June Handmade.  I can’t believe this was my first time using this pattern.  It sewed up quickly and looks so cute on.  I left off the snaps and buttons for now but I’m still debating whether or not to add them.  We’ve struggled with snaps in the past so I’m leaning towards some sleek black buttons…

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I’ve been dying to sew up the new Modkid Brooklyn.  I love Modkid’s Tween line (Sophie is still just under the size chart chest/hip wise but is a 14 height!).  I think this pattern is similar to the True Bias Niko pattern and since I like to try out new styles on my little mini me first she got to be my guinea pig.  The mock neck, slim fitting silhouette is so cute on her!

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I thought the modern lines of this print were just too perfect for this look!  Windowpane prints are having such a moment and the addition of hearts just make this fabric so sweet.

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This little girl is all about purple right now.  She loved the pretty watercolor stripe and I knew pairing it with the CLUB lilac dots would be a win.

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I used the Jolly Roger Raglan from Patterns for Pirates with the funnel neck add-on.  I extended the funnel neck height and cropped the bottom hem a couple of inches as well.  It’s a cozy closet staple that will get worn often.

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I had to get in on the fun!  I love the simplicity of these tiny hearts on grey.  It’s cute without being too young.  It’s a print I can wear year-round and will pull out this sweatshirt often.  I used my latest go-to pattern, the Pixie Tee from Chalk and Notch.  I cropped the hem about two inches since I plan on wearing this as a layering piece and I love a bit of shirttail sticking out.

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I also sewed up a New Horizons Manhattan Dress in the XO double brushed polyester.  I love what a quick sew this pattern is and that boat neck is super cute!  The drape of the double brushed poly is dreamy as a circle skirt and she loves how soft this dress is.

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You can grab these prints on sale through Wednesday, December 19th for $1 off per yard.  They’re available on CLUB cotton jersey and french terry with the bottom two prints on double brushed polyester.  They’ll stay available in the shop through Valentine’s Day.

Art Gallery Fabrics Stripe Tour

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I’m thrilled to be joining Karly from Paisley Roots for the Art Gallery Fabrics Stripe Tour.  Karly and I very first bonded over our shared love of all things striped so this was a definite treat for both of us.  I’m happy to be joining a great group of sewists to share these amazing fabrics with you.  Make sure you check out their posts this week as well!

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Stripes are a favorite of mine and these looks were so much fun to create.  I had the hardest time picking which fabrics to use.  Just take a look at all the killer stripes here.  You want them all too, right?!  The colors are just divine and there are so many to choose from.  They are yarn-dyed meaning they’ll stay just as pretty after a million washes as they look today.  Such a dream fabric!
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In the end I just couldn’t get this classic black and white combo out of my head.  I used the Striped Bold Caviar and Striped Alike Caviar.  I love the creamy white with the bold black.  I think I already have five black and white stripe tees in my own closet but I’m so drawn to the combo.  There’s no such thing as too many black and white stripes in your wardrobe!
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For my top I used the Pixie Tee and Dress from Chalk and Notch.  I love the optional side ties and knew it was the perfect place for a fun pop of fabric.  I used scraps from these pretty Art Gallery dresses and I love the combination.
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A bold peacock print is such a fun touch!
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I couldn’t bear to waste any of the leftovers so my little guy just had to have a tee too!  I used my go-to Jolly Roger Raglan pattern.  This bold stripe paired with a solid AGF knit in Sahara Sun is just checking all my boxes.  Stripes- check, mustard- check, cute boy- check 😉
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This fun dress is the piece de resistance!  I used the Upton pattern from Blaverry (so sad it is no longer available!).  It’s one of my favorite patterns for combining fabrics and I’m always so happy with the results.
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That back detail just makes me flip!
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Add in that pretty contrast yoke and I’m head over heels!
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We are so in love with our new pieces.  I can’t get over the quality of this fabric.  It was so nice to work with and is so soft and smooth.  I almost felt guilty using this amazing stuff on my kids.  I can tell it will hold up to all that they throw at it though making these a great addition to their closets.  Now to get my hands on all the colors…
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Thanks for joining us on our stop!  We hope you treat yourself to some of this amazing fabric soon!

 

Rose Garden Fabrics Tour for Riley Blake Designs

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I’m sharing another gorgeous fabric collection today from Riley Blake Designs, Rose Garden by Gerri Robinson.   The subtle pinks, greys, taupes, and creams of this line are just beautiful!

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I immediately envisioned a sweet spring brother/sister look the minute I saw this fabric.  The Rose Garden Main in cream really shines on big sis and the Rose Garden Paisley pink is the perfect compliment.

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My little guy really loves to wear a tie each week to church and usually reaches for one of his floral ties.  This paisley and floral print is an upgrade to his collection.  I used the free Totally Terrific Tie tutorial from Hem Me In.  It was a fun, quick sew and I know I’ll turn to it often.

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I used the Georgia Dress pattern from Violette Fields Threads for this classic dress.  The simple silhouette and ruffle neck and sleeves just let this fabric shine.   It’s such a beautiful pattern that I’m anxious to sew up again too!

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These prints are just so, so pretty!  I’m thinking I can be WAY ahead of the game and call these their Easter looks, right?!  They’re too precious not to.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Christmas Line 2018

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Am I the only one that’s missing the lazy days of summer?  It seems to me like once school starts it’s full speed ahead!  Halloween comes quickly, then Thanksgiving, and BAM! It’s Christmas!  I’m grateful to have a little headstart on my holiday sewing thanks to Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

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The new CLUB Christmas prints hit the shop last week and are on sale for $1 off per yard through tomorrow, Friday October 19th.  These 12 prints are available on our favorite 95/5 cotton lycra jersey and french terry knits.  My kids are spoiled and having grown up in CLUB knits they reach for their CLUB makes over and over again.

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I loved playing with these gorgeous blue and grey french terry prints.  My sister and I sewed up coordinating looks for these cute cousins.  Little Edie got a Skiff Tee from Jennuine Designs (a great pattern for scraps and color blocking!).  My Charlie is sporting a Constance Sweater from Sew A Little Seam and his best smolder and big sis is also wearing a Constance.

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How cool is it to be able to use the same pattern for two different looks for both a boy and a girl?!  I sure love this pattern!

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For this girl look I used this Snowflake French Terry.  I did the puff sleeve, hood, and kangaroo pocket all at her request.  It’s so fun to sit down with this pattern and let them choose exactly the look they want.  She’d been dying to recreate her favorite rtw hoodie and this one totally fit the bill.

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I added a little premade vinyl I picked up at Michael’s for the perfect little bling!

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How bout this plaid?!  It’s pretty cute, right?!  I paired it with the light grey jersey for bands and it’s love!

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I love that this print is great for the holidays but will also work well into spring too.  I love it layered over a chambray button-up and just might have to copy this look for myself.

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My favorite thing to make with CLUB jersey is pajamas.  They are the ultimate in comfort- soft, breathable, and they hold up so well to multiple washings each week.  They’re the first pj’s my kids reach for and the perfect use of all those fun prints they love.  These Christmas pj’s will be an instant favorite for sure (she may or may not be going on wearing these two days in a row ;))

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I love to use tried and true patterns to create pajamas.  I used our beloved Camden Raglan from Hey June Handmade paired with our favorite Love Notions Leggins for an easy, quick outfit.  This darling Christmas Dot paired with the basic green stripe and red jersey made such a cute combo.

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I’m so excited that Raspberry Creek is adding new base options to their CLUB line.  These three prints are available on double brushed polyester and poly rayon spandex french terry.

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The double brushed polyester Deer Buffalo Plaid was perfect for these girls.  My oldest daughter has a severe obsession with all things buffalo plaid and immediately requested this print as soon as she saw it.  She was thrilled to match her little cousin.

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My daughter is also sporting Love Notions Leggins.  They fit her perfect and worked great for this fabric.  The negative ease in this pattern isn’t as much as other patterns I’ve tried meaning that this fabric doesn’t get stretched super thin across her hips.  The drape of this base is also perfect for flowy dresses like the Groove Dress from MadeIt Patterns.

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The hi-low option of this dress is just too cute!  And your girls will just love the twirl factor!

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Lastly, I got to sew up this gorgeous floral print in double brushed poly.    It’s so pretty and was perfect for a Li’l LDT Dress for Sophie.  I love this colorway on her!  We did the bishop sleeve, cowl neck options of this pattern and think it’s the perfect seasonal transition look.

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Isn’t that subtle lace background divine?!

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Are you already sewing for Christmas?  Are you one of those crazy ladies that frantically sews EVERYONE matching pj’s (yep, I’ve been there!)?  Make sure you grab your fabrics on sale through Friday.  Excited to see all your holiday makes!

 

Fall Mini Hudson Joggers

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This little guy is always asking for me to sew him up new clothes.  He loves wearing mama-made but I think he’s really in it for the photo shoot bribes!  I’ll take it though because there’s nothing I love more than looking at that smiling face!

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He has a severe hatred of ‘hard pants’ aka jeans.  To satisfy both of us, I’ll happily sew up some slim fitting joggers.  They’re a quick sew and I love how they look on him!

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I have several jogger patterns I like and for these I used the Mini Hudson Pants from True Bias.  I love the fit of these and it was a great twist of fate that I already had a size 7 traced and ready to go.   He’s growing like a weed and I can’t keep up with those long legs so none of my patterns from the spring would work for him.

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I did modify the waistband for multiple reasons.  One, I’m lazy!  Two, actual drawstrings always come out in the wash. And three, again, I’m lazy, lol!  The pattern calls for wider elastic than I had on hand and then you create a casing for a drawstring.  I simplified the heck out of it by doing one big casing and attaching a faux drawstring to the front.  These joggers were done from cut to finish in less than an hour.

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I used this cotton modal french terry from Knitpop for these.  I had originally ordered this luscious stuff for myself but when it arrived the color was a bit more brown than I wanted.  I knew it’d be perfect for my boys though.  It’s seriously some of the softest stuff I’ve worked with and I’m slightly jealous of these beauties.

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Another easy peasy project in the books!  I think my family might just hold the world record for most joggers in one household.  If not, I think I better keep it up because that’s a title I’d proudly take!

Retro Tees with the Cricut Easy Press 2

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This post is sponsored by Cricut.  I received the Cricut Easy Press 2 in exchange for promotion.  All thoughts in this post are my own.

It’s no secret that we’re huge Cricut fans in our house.  We’ve all gotten spoiled and love to create looks that we dream up ourselves.  As a seamstress, I love to create clothes and pick out pattern and fabric combos that suit both me and my children.  The Cricut Maker, Easy Press 2, and sewing products help us take our handmade wardrobe to the next level.

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I’ve been absolutely loving all the rainbow and vintage vibe tees and sweatshirts that are everywhere these days.  It was so much fun to come up with our own sayings and designs and use our handy Cricut tools to create looks that fit their personalities.

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The Cricut EasyPress 2 makes ironing on your vinyl designs such a breeze.  I’m loving the new vibrant color and three different sizes that will suit all your needs.  The small 6″x7″ size works great for baby clothes and little projects.  The medium 9″x9″ size is super versatile and a great all-purpose machine.  The large 12″x10” has been fantastic for our family.  It’s great for youth and adult clothing and has been getting a work out at our house.

The EasyPress 2 is easy to use and is so quick and handy.  It heats up so fast and the ceramic coated plate produces smooth, even heating (something my iron sure lacked!).  I use mine on my kitchen table and I know that it’s protected from the heat by the insulated safety base and the EasyPress Mat.  It gets up to 400 degrees and irons on your designs in no time.  The easy to read digital display makes it easy to set the temperature and timer to suit your iron-on material and fabric.  And I love that it’s easy to store on my shelf and is light and portable.  Phew!  So many great qualities!  I honestly don’t know how I lived without mine.

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When creating these looks I turned to Cricut Design Space and the loads of fonts at my finger tips!  You can create this look for yourself here.  I used the Playroom Sampler pack, with Kelly, Orange, and Sky but I think it’d look amazing in an array of Glitter Iron-On as well.

I’m a Cricut Iron-On convert.  After using different brands I’ve been thrilled with how well our Cricut brand makes have held up.  Cricut has introduced the StrongBond guarantee that will give you the confidence and peace of mind that your iron-on projects will last and last.  The StrongBond guarantee means that if your Cricut iron-on products are used as directed and you’re not completely satisfied, Cricut will replace it for free.  Cricut Iron-on products are made to last 50+ wash and dry cycles and I’m here to testify that ours have taken a beating and still look amazing.  That’s a big deal with kids- their favorites can stick around until they’re outgrown!

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I used the Samson Sweater from Love Notions sized up one and with an extra wide bottom band to give it that oversized look.  This french terry from Raspberry Creek is one of my favorite fabrics for fall.  (I love it so much I used it for my little guys joggers too!)  It’s nice and thick and worked wonderfully with the iron-on.

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This Legendary tee was another fun design.  This kiddo has certainly reached ‘legend’ status at our house so this tee was just too perfect for him.  I used the Boho Sampler pack of Everyday Iron-On for this look.  I used the #121 Ringer Raglan pattern from Thread Faction- I can’t get enough of that slim fit!

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I used the Lexi and Lou Loungers from Made for Mermaids for his pants.  I added a long vinyl stripe down the side and in the pocket for a touch of color.  The large EasyPress made ironing on the stripe simple and easy!  One bonus of making a garment is that you can iron things on flat, before they get completely sewn together.  I sewed up the pockets and side seam, EasyPressed the stripes on, then continued with the construction.

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This design is a trial and error look.  I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use my Iron-On materials and this one was a fun one.  I took strips of each color and taped them together using transfer tape on the plastic backing.  I cut the design out in white iron-on and applied it to the sweatshirt.  I then cut the design out of my rainbow piece and applied it directly on top of the white lettering.  It’s far from perfect but that just means I get to keep trying it until I get it just right!  I love the look and used the same technique here too.  You can get this design in Design Space here.

Her top was made using the Striped Swallow Designs Apres Ski.  Those big full sleeves take this sweatshirt from boring to brilliant.

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I’m thrilled with this whole Retro Rainbow collection and love how quick and easy it was to make with our Cricut products.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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